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Monday, April 18, 2016

What would you attempt to do if you were not afraid to fail? See how StyleChat’s Creative Director left finance for fashion & startups




How does one  jump from Wall Street to Seventh Avenue and finally land in Silicon Valley?   Just ask StyleChat’s creative director, Olya Dzilikhova. 

When you think of the financial industry, you envision men wearing expensive charcoal grey and black suits that all look the same. Maybe that’s why StyleChat creative director Olya Dzilikhova’s striking fashion sense stood out to her manager when she worked on Wall Street and sparked a change in career.

A childhood in Russia leads to a career in finance
Olya grew up in Russia, where she watched Elsa Klensch’s style segment on CNN International every week and dreamed of traveling and designing clothes for women across the globe. Her fashion dreams were put on the back burner, though, because of strong family ties in finance. She moved to New York to study and then start a career on Wall Street.

Her love for fashion could not be dimmed by the world of finance and boring suits. Her sense of style led to her manager asking her if she could help her choose an outfit for an event. Her manager’s request sparked an epiphany for Olya. The world of styling could be a natural bridge between her business skills and passion for fashion. 

Trading in finance for a fashion line
Olya left Wall Street for a corporate communications  firm that represented powerful women in business and entertainment. She met her friend and a future business partner, Mina. Together, they started Mina+Olya, the first luxury sustainable clothing line for women created in the US.

The line lasted for about four years before closing. Although it was difficult to see the line close, Olya took her learnings and started her own style and brand consultancy serving clientele worldwide from her office in the San Francisco.

Moving past imposter syndrome and into startups
She was later introduced to Prosenjit Sen, the founder of mobile startup StyleChat, a mobile social shopping app for consumers and stylists. He was hosting a meeting for fashion and tech entrepreneurs, where people discussed how to improve fashion commerce now that mobile has started to dominate.

With no tech experience, Olya wasn’t confident she could join the startup world. She had a case of imposter syndrome, where you feel like you’re somewhere you don’t belong. She was nervous she wouldn’t have much to contribute to the meeting but decided to go anyway.

Once she was in the discussion, she realized the opposite. While many startups had great technology, they still needed direction and strategy from a true stylist and fashion veteran. She wasn’t an imposter in the startup world – she was needed.

A few months later, she joined StyleChat as the Creative Director.  Olya’s story shows that careers may have twists and turns, but if you keep pursuing your passion and moving past self-doubt, you’ll find work that makes you happy every day.

About StyleChat
StyleChat is the ultimate shopping and styling app for all fashionistas! Browse your favorite online stores (or physical stores), style outfits with items on the web and in your closet, and chat with friends. Better yet, you can purchase an entire outfit in seconds with just one-tap, using the Universal Shopping Cart. When you're ready to show off your style creations, share them with friends across all your social media.

Download StyleChat from iTunes: http://bit.ly/1cepPER.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Women in Wireless Superstars | March 2016


WiW Superstars recognizes women that have gone above and beyond to make WiW a success. Each month, we feature up to three women leaders in our WiW newsletter, on our website and in social media. We want the world to know the WiW leaders and the contributions they make to their community. As an added bonus, WiW Superstars get executive coaching from our WiW Advisory Board to enhance professional development and promote long-term career success.

The women selected for March have gone above and beyond for WiW. They represent the leadership of three of our local chapters: Seattle, Israel and NYC and have embodied the pillars of our organization: connect, inspire and empower. Please join us in congratulating Sheryl Tullis, Stefanie Amini and Priya Nevrekar!


Sheryl Tullis is Vice President and Partner of Launch Consulting, a precision foresights technology that helps companies pinpoint business signals and anticipate actions. She is an army veteran and spent 15 years in digital media after her military service. Sheryl is also the founder and Co-Head of WiW Seattle.

Sheryl has been the driving force behind WiW Seattle, which serves to open doors for women in the Seattle community. She challenges the team to think strategically about the content and audience at the events with topics that serve to inspire, grow and lead. In addition, Sheryl empowers her team to be leaders, identifies their strengths, runs a cohesive and inspiring chapter that has become a model for the global WiW organization.


Stefanie Amini is a Digital Marketing Executive, consulting startups on launch and growth marketing strategies. She is also the cofounder of Gossip Media and Discovering Coffee, and a mentor at Google. Stefanie’s passion for startups and women in leadership inspired her to start the WiW Chapter in Israel and become the first Co-Head of WiW Israel.

Stefanie built WiW Israel from from the ground up. To do so, she used her extensive personal and professional contacts to recruit top talent and sponsorship for their signature interactive events. Stefanie always makes time for the WiW members who are seeking her professional advice. She is is clearly a pillar in her community and embodies the core principals of connect, inspire and empower.



Priya Nevrekar is a Business Development and Strategy Executive in Mobile and Digital Media. She has worked in digital media for over eight years as a consultant and at companies including NBC Universal and AT Kearney. Priya has helped advance Women in Wireless as both the Co-Head of the NY Chapter and a member of the Advisory Board.

Priya is a strong leader and is constantly striving to raise the bar and curate high-level content programs for the NY Chapter events. She produced the executive mobile commerce panel last year, which was very well received and took the NYC chapter to the next level. She has also been extremely dedicated to helping grow the NYC chapter leadership and membership base as well as launch the new Singapore chapter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Women in Wireless Superstars | February 2016

WiW Superstars recognizes women that have gone above and beyond to make WiW a success. Each month, we feature up to three women leaders in our WiW newsletter, on our website and in social media. We want the world to know the WiW leaders and the contributions they make to their community. As an added bonus, WiW Superstars get executive coaching from our WiW Advisory Board to enhance professional development and promote long-term career success.

The women selected for February have gone above and beyond for WiW. They have embodied the pillars of our organization: connect, inspire and empower. Please join us in congratulating: Maggie Squires and Elizabeth Emery!

Maggie Squires is a Director at Moxie Communications Group, working with consumer and ad-tech
startups on media relations. Maggie has deep PR and communications experience, having worked at SparkPR and 6StringMedia prior to that. We’re lucky to have her bring this experience to Women in Wireless as the Marketing Co-Chair. Since she has joined the WiW Marketing team, Maggie has worked hard to elevate the WIW brand and manage our marketing efforts across many teams and chapters. Her knowledge in PR and Marketing Communications brings incredible value to WIW's Leadership team. Maggie embodies the WiW pillars: connect, inspire and empower. She has a vast network of incredible women that she connects to WIW. Her WiW colleagues say Maggie is knowledgeable, capable, confident and provides people with the tools to empower them to do great work.

Elizabeth Emery is an Account Executive at xAd, a platform that enables real-time, location-based marketing. She is a rising star in digital media having worked on both the agency and client side of the business. Elizabeth has recently taken the helm to lead the WiW Chicago Chapter as Co-Head, and has already made a huge difference! Elizabeth originally got involved with WiW at the Global Leadership level helping with global events. She wanted to play a larger role on the local level, so Elizabeth took over the Chicago Co-Head position in August and has completely revitalized Women in Wireless in Chicago. She has built a team from scratch and has already organized and will host three events in five months! Her latest efforts to help connect, inspire and empower women in the mobile and digital space will be on March 15th with a Programmatic Panel & Happy Hour. We’re thrilled to have Elizabeth leading the way in Chicago!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

WiW Superstars | January 2016

WiW Superstars is a new program that recognizes women that have gone above and beyond to make WiW a success. Each month, we feature up to three women leaders in our WiW newsletter, on our website and in social media. We want the world to know the WiW leaders and the contributions they make to their community. As an added bonus, WiW Superstars get executive coaching from our WiW Advisory Board to enhance professional development and promote long-term career success. The women selected for January have gone above and beyond for WiW. They have embodied the pillars of our organization: connect, inspire and empower. Please join us in congratulating: Lara Mehanna and Caroline Watts!


Lara Mehanna is GM US, VP Sales & Business Development for Sonata by TAPTAP, the first global
advertising platform focused on delivering hyperlocal awareness and results, for national and global advertisers. Lara is a digital media veteran with over eight years of experience in mobile marketing. Lara is also Co-Head of the WiW NYC Chapter focusing on Sponsorship, Finance and Philanthropy. We want to recognize Lara for her work as the founding Co-Head of WiW NYC. Lara works tirelessly to run the NYC Chapter. She is known as the "Rain-Maker" when it comes to securing sponsorships, which are critical for enabling the quality WiW events that NYC has come to be known for. Lara is a dynamic and devoted Co-Head whose guidance has inspired the NY chapter leadership and continues to propel the growth of the chapter.



Caroline Watts is the Senior Marketing Manager at RevJet, a Creative Side Platform (CSP) for digital advertising that helps marketers be more efficient with their media spend. Caroline is a rising star in digital media who has been building her career on the wave of programmatic advertising. Caroline part of the WiW Global Marketing team responsible for the WiW newsletter that you all love. We want to recognize Caroline for getting our email newsletter program back off the ground! Caroline only joined the Global Leadership Team 3 months ago, but has done an incredible job organizing and distributing the newsletter. She is a solution-oriented person who is positive, motivated and dedicated to the work she is creating.





 Thanks again Lara and Caroline! If you see WiW leaders going above and beyond AND embodying the core pillars (connect, inspire and empower), please nominate them to be WiW Superstars for February.
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